The Lymphedema Program at Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital provides treatment to clients who suffer from lymphedema. The term “lymphedema” refers to the accumulation of an excessive amount of protein-rich fluid in tissues resulting in swelling.
Some of the causes of lymphedema include: congenital defect, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, trauma, chronic venous insufficiency, repeated infections in a limb, post-operative infection and parasites (most common in tropical countries).
Symptoms of lymphedema may include:
- A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the affected area
- Noticeable swelling
- Skin color changes
- Decreased or unusual sensations
- Repeated infections
Patients are referred to this program by a physician, and are seen by one of the specially-trained occupational or physical therapists who work closely with the referring physician to help manage each patient’s edema. Our LANA (Lymphatic Organization of North America) and Vodder certified-therapists participate in ongoing recertification and remain abreast of new developments in the treatment of this condition.
Therapy goals include reduction of swelling, prevention of the progression of lymphedema, prevention of infection, and improvement the patient’s overall quality of life. Therapy also prepares patients for ongoing management of this chronic condition.
Weldon’s Lymphedema Program offers several treatment options, including:
- Manual lymph drainage – a light re-routing of fluid by gentle massage
- Bandaging and compression
- Skin care and instructions and precautions
- Specialized exercises to increase lymph drainage
- Consultation on modifications of daily living activities and lifestyle adaptations
For more information about the Lymphedema Program at Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital, please call 413-748-6880.